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Elvis' Scale Model Ballparks

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  • Elvis' Scale Model Ballparks

    First of all, I want to thank all of you who responded with such kind words to my posting my drawings and photos of the model ballparks I made years ago. As you may know, I have not made any new models for some time now, due primarily to the time involved in constructing them. However, thanks in large part to you guys inspiring me, I have decided to try it again. I'm going to build another model ballpark and attempt o sell it. If I can, then I may have a new side business on my hands - we'll see how it goes.

    My new model(s) will be of the same scale (1:600), but will be somewhat more "polished". Instead of being almost entirely built of corregated cardboard, as my old models were, I will be using more traditional model-making materials - Balsa and bass woods and some plastic for most of the visible elements. I will still be using corregated cardboard for most of the internal structure, simply because it's free, easy to work with, and frankly quite sturdy.

    My first new model is almost ready to begin the construction phase. The basic design is worked out and I just finished the final draft of the field layout. The ballpark borrows design elements from the Polo Grounds, Dodger Stadium, Old Comiskey Park, Tiger Stadium, and of course, the modern ballparks of today. The dimensions are:

    LF foul pole: 305 ft
    LF corner: 381 ft
    LF "true" alley: 386 ft
    LF deep alley: 399 ft
    Center field "notch": 462 ft
    LF and RF center field: 422 ft
    Deep RF alley: 439 ft
    RF "true" alley: 419 ft
    RF corner: 393 ft
    RF foul pole: 311 ft
    Backstop: 50 ft

    Foul territory: large along the bases, small deep down the lines.

    This ballpark will feature 2 large main seating decks in the main grandstand; a third deck behind home plate; 2 separate "old fashioned" pavilions in the corners that extend toward center field (featuring overhanging upper decks and roof supported by minimal posts and cantilevers); a center field "notch".

    I haven't worked out all the details yet, but it's pretty much ready to start building. The only thing I haven't really decided on is the exterior design and overall color scheme.

    I'll post more details later and of course be giving construction updates as frequently as is feasable. I do have a question for all: How much should I ask as a selling price? I've never sold one before, so I'm not sure. I figure the materials (not counting the initial investment of a few tools) will run between $50-$100 (guestimate), and something like 15-25 hours labor. Any ideas? I've already found a company that makes 1:600 scale trees, cars and figurines I can add to the models, so this would add to the cost a little as well, although I can always offer them as optional accesories.

    Again, thanks for inspiring me once again!


  • #2
    This should turn out great, especially if it's going to look better than your other ones!

    Your drawings were superb, and very realistic. Did you just draw this one, or is it in the other thread? I would like to see the drawing, if you could.

    Good luck on this one!
    I like cranberry sauce.

    "The Babe was a great ballplayer, sure, but Ty Cobb was even greater. Babe could knock your brains out, but Cobb would drive you crazy." - Tris Speaker


    • #3
      Aren't you affraid that if you make a business out of it, the fun will disappear after a while?


      • #4
        I'd go with 129.99 to 149.99 for models without the extras. With extras, it would all depend on the costs of said extras.

        Anyway, I am definitely interested in a scale model of that Wiffle(R) field that we discussed. Of course, it wouldn't be 1:600, hopefully more like 1:150, since it's about 1/4 scale of a big-league park.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Elvis9045
          I figure the materials (not counting the initial investment of a few tools) will run between $50-$100 (guestimate), and something like 15-25 hours labor. Any ideas? Again, thanks for inspiring me once again!

          First, no thanks to us, your work is fantastic! If I were to price something like this, I would mark up materials in the neighborhood of 20-25%. Putting the materials sell price around $70-125. As far as the labor goes, I generally want to make on the side what I do at work. In other words, if you make $100K per year, that's roughly $50/hr., $50K/year roughly equates to $25/hour. Using $25/hr as a model number, labor would run $375-625. All that being said, I would think anywhere from $450-600 would be fair, plus shipping and handling.
          I'm a Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech and a Hell of an Engineer!


          • #6
            No offense to the post or to the builder, but I think $450-600 is entirely too much to charge. They are great designs with great craftsmanship, but not many can afford that kind of change.


            • #7
              Originally posted by sickle
              No offense to the post or to the builder, but I think $450-600 is entirely too much to charge. They are great designs with great craftsmanship, but not many can afford that kind of change.
              Someone just bought the scorecard to game 4 of the 2004 World Series for $160,000. For the amount of work that goes into a model, and for the pieces involed, $450-600 is an absolute steal. Frankly, anything under $1,000 is a bargain.

              I know a lot of people haven't had to make models in the past, but as someone who made scale models for several years (before I switched entirely to CAD), I can tell you how much goes into it. Nobody's fault, but until you actually do it, it's hard to fully understand.


              • #8
                Many thanks to everyone for the feedback so far! I really appreciate it.

                To try and respond in order:

                TW: Yes, I did new a new drawing for this one. I'll "clean it up" some and try and post it by tomorrow evening.

                YR: No, not really. Getting paid for something you like doing is the best kind job you can have. Besides, the only way I can really resume doing this is if it pays.

                Sickle: Yes, your model would be close to that 1:150 scale. In fact, 1:150 is pretty close to being about half way between HO scale and n gaugue in comparison to model trains.

                Unfortunately, the price that you gave me to sell my ballpark for just isn't realistic. $130 would barely cover the cost of materials. Imagine trying to buy a new house (sans land) for just the cost of the materials and expecting the architect and construction company to work for free. I would also offer the Wedding Cake analogy. It isn't unusual to pay $500 for a wedding cake. It isn't because the flour, sugar and eggs cost that much - it's the extensive time and craftsmanship involved.

                sschirmer and sean o: Thanks for your input! Assuming I stick close to my stated costs and labor estimates, I was thinking somewhere close to $500. That would allow me to re-invest into some tools that would cut some of the time involved in construction and mainly in fabricating virtually every hand-made custom part! I'd love to be able to buy a Dremel, an airbrush and electric sander!

                Ok, back to work...


                • #9
                  I guess I don't fully understand the whole process, as you are much more knowledgeable in this field than I; I must admit, I have great admiration for people who can do marvels with things I don't even understand. Appreciation of another man's (or woman's) work is the utmost compliment. When some bills get paid for, I would have no problem forking up 5 bills, now that I think about it.


                  • #10
                    Construction Update!

                    Ok, here's today's progress report. The main deck supports are all finished and installed, as well as an initial "retaining wall" behind them. There are 4 kinds of supports: Lower deck supports that brace the lower stands that surround the entire stadium; Pavilion supports that brace the upper home run porches and roof boxes in the outfield; Baseline supports that brace the mezzanine suites and upper deck along the baselines; 1st-3rd supports that brace the suites, upper deck and top deck behind home plate.

                    This is basically the "skeleton" of the stadium. None of this will show after the stadium is finisihed. The next steps will include creating supports for the outfield plaza; creating and installing the luxury suites in back of the lower deck; creating the roof boxes and roof for the outfield pavilions.
                    Attached Files


                    • #11
                      Overhead View

                      You can get the general shape of the stadium with this shot. The main grandstand and CF notch is modeled after the Polo Grounds. The "Top Deck" behind home plate is borrowed from Dodger Stadium. The "Stacked" outfield pavilions are a combination of The Ballpark in Arlington, Tiger Stadium and Old Comiskey. Only the outfield pavilions will feature posts. The main grandstand is all cantilever decks. Oh, and the press box will be tucked between the upper deck and top deck.
                      Attached Files


                      • #12
                        Here's the same overhead shot rotated, and with an outline of the field so you get a better idea.
                        Attached Files
                        Last edited by Elvis; 01-21-2006, 11:06 PM.


                        • #13
                          Awesome, Elvis! Thanks for the updates. Keep us posted.
                          CLEVELAND INDIANS Central Division Champions

                          1920 1948 1954 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2001 2007


                          • #14
                            Lookin' good my man, keep up the great work!


                            • #15
                              Update - 1/24

                              Well, I'm making solid and steady progress these last two days. I'm actually amazed a little at how well it's looking. Today I began installing many of the pieces that will actually show after several days of just installing the internal support pieces. I was a little nervous about working with the balsa and bass wood because I had never worked with real wood in my models before, however, I was pleasantly surprised. It's easy to work with and is giving the model a level of "polished detail" that I was hoping for, but not sure I could achieve. I'm quite giddy about it frankly!

                              Another update tomorrow with photos... Stay tuned.


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